Hollifield Station Elementary boundary proposal spurs debate

December 09, 1996|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

Some Ellicott City parents are concerned about how a preliminary boundary line proposal for the new Hollifield Station Elementary School would affect the racial and socioeconomic balance among elementary schools in the area.

Hollifield Station, scheduled to open next fall, is being built off Rogers Avenue in Ellicott City.

The parents question whether the boundary lines would create disparities in the percentages of minority and low-income students at Hollifield and two other area elementary schools.

The proposal calls for the school to receive about 200 students from St. John's Lane Elementary who live north of U.S. 40 and about 290 students from Waverly Elementary School who live on and east of Old Mill Road.

The preliminary proposal was presented to parents last week by Associate Superintendent Maurice Kalin, who said it may change before he makes a formal recommendation to the school board Jan. 23.

The board will approve new boundary lines for next fall in late March after holding public hearings and work sessions.

Under the proposal, the percentage of minority students at Hollifield Station would be about 21 percent, Kalin said.

The percentage of minority students at St. John's Lane would decline from 45 percent -- among the highest in the county -- to 34 percent. Waverly's minority student population would remain about 10 percent or 11 percent, he said.

Parents at the meetings questioned whether Kalin might be able to draw the boundary lines differently to spread minority students more evenly among the three schools.

Kalin said he would welcome any suggestions they might have and encouraged them to submit alternate proposals for him to consider.

Kalin said he still needs to analyze how the proposal would affect such other factors as student test scores.

Pub Date: 12/09/96

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